Bachar Houli Academy stars shine on the MCG

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The Bachar Houli Academy has run-out victorious at the MCG against AJAX Football Cup, making them and the broader Bachar Houli Foundation, the inaugural holders of the Jolson/Houli Unity Cup.

The Cup is a legacy of the AFL Peace Team – celebrating the Jewish and Muslim community’s contribution to, and participation in our great game of Aussie Rules.

It is named in honour of Richmond Football Club Life Member and the AFL’s first practising Muslim premiership player, Bachar Houli, who founded the Bachar Houli Academy, and the late Henry Jolson OAM, QC, Western Bulldogs Life Member, Legend of the Victorian Bar and AJAX Football Club and ambassador of the AFL Peace Team.

“The Bachar Houli Academy is about providing opportunities for the next generation of Islamic leaders through football,” says Bachar Houli.

“By taking part in the Jolson/Houli Unity Cup, our participants will be given a fantastic chance to showcase their skills at the home of football, but more importantly to come together as one with the combined Jolson/Maccabi/AJAX team for a game of Australian football. We look forward to hopefully this becoming an annual fixture.

The match was played on the hallowed turf of the MCG the morning after the 2019 AFL Grand Final, making it the final football match for the year before the MCG’s goal posts were replaced with a cricket pitch.

Houli was at the ground bright and early despite having won his second AFL premiership just hours earlier as the Academy broke out to an early lead.

AJAX pressed hard to hit back in the second term before the Houli Academy clung on to a 7.7.49 to 5.6.36 win in a highly skilled 10min x 4 quarters game.

The best on ground medal was won by Bachar Houli Academy participant ruckman Mutaz el Nour.